Brooklands Museum in Surrey, the most prolific aviation manufacturing site in Europe and site of the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, has been announced as a finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018, the biggest museum prize in the world
Supported by Art Fund, the £100,000 prize is designed to get to the heart of what makes a truly outstanding museum, seeking out innovation and exceptional achievement in museums and galleries all across the UK, and working to encourage more people to visit.
The winning museum will be announced before an invited audience of leading figures from the fields of culture and museums, on Thursday 5th July 2018 at the V&A Museum in London.
Brooklands’ nomination marks the culmination of one of the Museum’s most important periods in its 27-year history, with a transformation of the site in 2017 delivering extraordinary new exhibitions that tell the story of one of the most important sites in British aviation, motorsport and engineering.
In 2017, Brooklands unveiled three outstanding projects: The Brooklands Aircraft Factory, the Flight Shed and the restoration of it historic Finishing Straight.
The Brooklands Aircraft Factory, housed in a restored WWII aircraft hangar, takes visitors on an immersive journey on to the factory floor of 80 years of aircraft design, testing and manufacture.
From those early pioneers through to the supersonic flight of Concorde, a timeline of aviation development is depicted through the component parts of what goes together to make an aircraft fly.
On leaving the Factory, the journey continues into the Flight Shed, where a fleet of complete Brooklands Aircraft are lined up, as if ready to take off. Cockpit access to a Hawker Hunter and two-seater Harrier Jump Jet gives young and not-so-young would-be pilots the opportunity to sit at the controls.
Alongside the new and restored buildings, the restoration of the Finishing Straight of the original racing circuit has enabled pre-war cars and motorbikes to run up and down this section of track for the first time since 1939, allowing visitors to imagine the track during the heyday of pre-war motor racing.
With learning at their heart, the new exhibitions aim to inspire school children and students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through the stories of the men and women who worked at Brooklands throughout the 20th century.
Tamalie Newbery, Brooklands Museum’s Director and CEO said “We’re thrilled that the Museum’s incredible work in 2017 has been recognised by the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 and its panel of distinguished judges. We can now tell the extraordinary history of this very special place in ways we’ve never been able to before.”
Find out more about Brooklands Museum through this link.
To find out more about the award and see other nominees visit the Art Fund’s website.